The Importance of Keeping Your Dog's Teeth Clean
Did you know that our furry friends' dental care is just as important as it is for us? Unfortunately, many dog owners overlook the importance of keeping your dog’s teeth clean. Dental care for dogs can affect their overall wellbeing, not just their teeth and gums. A healthy set of teeth enables chewing, which aids in proper digestion by allowing enzymes to break down their food.
Poor dental health can result in various problems for your dog, including:
- Stinky breath
Bad dental hygiene can lead to inflamed gums, which can cause bacterial infections affecting your dog's organs, such as their heart and kidneys and in extreme cases, can be fatal. Luckily, there are some easy steps to promote dental health for your dog.
Here are our top 5 tips to keep your dog's teeth clean
Start Early with Your Dog as a Puppy
One of the best measures starts with puppy training. Teach your young dog to be comfortable with you opening their mouth and examining their teeth. It's important to be able to check your dog's mouth regularly since the early signs of periodontitis are often not very obvious. It would be best to have your veterinarian check your dog's mouth regularly to make sure you nip any problems early on. Early training will also help prepare your dog to accept teeth brushing, which should start as young as possible. Many products make this process easier, including using toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. If you feel uncomfortable at first, ask your veterinarian to show you how to care for and brush your dog's teeth properly.
Tip: When selecting a toothbrush, be sure to look for one that will comfortably fit in your pup's mouth. You can also find finger toothbrushes that are easier to manoeuvre. You can even use a gauze sponge over your finger or a very soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Pet toothpaste also comes in a variety of flavours for your pet's enjoyment.
It's important to remember not to use human toothpaste as most human toothpastes have unnecessary ingredients for your dog and can cause them harm.
Regular Dental Cleanings and Checkups
Suppose your dog does develop tartar, tooth rot or gum disease. In that case, he or she may need to undergo a cleaning done under a general anesthetic by your veterinarian. February is considered dental health month for pets. Veterinarians will often run special promotions during this month to encourage proper examination and care for dental issues. Usually, a thorough cleaning is required, and sometimes extractions are also needed if some of the teeth are beyond saving.
Watch for Subtle Symptoms
Not all oral health issues will be easy to spot; sometimes, they're more subtle.
A few signs may include:
- A preference for only soft food
- Eating on one side of their mouth
- Yelps when chewing bones or toys
In this case, have your veterinarian check their mouth to identify the problem. Tooth pain can cause behavioural changes in your dog, too. If you've ever had a toothache yourself, you know just how painful it can be. Often, dogs will try to mask this pain, so, it's best to have the problem checked out as soon as you notice the signs.
Choose a Diet that Promotes Dental Health
Some dog foods use ingredients that promote dental health by preventing tartar formation. Specific fibre structures can help "scrub" the teeth, reducing the time between dental cleanings. Certain foods may also contain ingredients that bind calcium to prevent tartar build-up.
Small Breed Recipes
Small Breed Recipes
We all want our pocket-sized pooches to lead active and happy lives. That’s why our nutritionists create perfectly balanced Now Fresh recipes to support a healthy lifestyle for small breed dogs, with tasty fresh meats & fish and nutrient-rich superfoods.
View small breed recipes
Try Dog Teeth Cleaning Toys & Treats
Did you know even toys can help clean your dog's teeth? Some toys help improve dental health by encouraging crunching and chewing, and what dog doesn't love that? Keep an eye out for products specifically designed for dental health and approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
It's important to remember that you should address dental health and preventative care early on in your dog's life. Keeping up with regular vet checkups, along with proper diet, and chew toys are all great ways to stay on top of your dog's dental health. Proper maintenance can be a hassle for dog owners now, but in the end, it can be a lifesaver for your pup. In the end, your dog will thank you for it!